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Full text of "The manufacture and properties of iron and steel"

GERMANY.                                             545
from the names of the towns. It is more provincial; wages are lower; the standard of living is not as high, and the proximity of Russian Poland, Austria and Hungary gives rise to a great deal of floating foreign labor. The primitive character of the population is indicated by the traveling bazaars, temporarily established in the market places of the towns. The wares are the crudest handmade articles, ranging from shoes to augers, and could not be sold in an up-to-date community except to a museum. Gangs "of Russian women travel around in search of work as Croatian or Austrian workmen go from one place to another in America, and these women, as.well as others from Austria and from the home villages, work in the steel works, on the railroads, or any place where there is work to be done, beginning this drudgery at the age of sixteen. Their wages are 25 cents per day, while men earn from 50 to 62 cents.
The principal advantage possessed by Silesia is its coal supply. In 1899 it raised 28,000,000 tons of coal, which was over half as much as Westphalia produced, and made 1,777,000 tons of coke, one-quarter of the amount turned out in the Ruhr. The coal is rich in volatile matter, running from 30 to 35 per cent., but gives a poor coke. Efforts have been made to improve the quality by stamping the coal, this being done both wet and dry at different works, and although it is questioned whether any good is done by this compression, the burden of evidence seems to be in its favor. The Silesian. coal field reaches into Moravia and Poland and will be further referred to in the discussion of Austria and Russia. Formerly considerable ore was mined in Silesia, but the supply is decreasing, for in 1894 there were 600,000 tons raised, while in 1903 there'were only 390,000 tons. This ore is poor stuff of the following composition:
Per cent.
Iron..............................................    25
Manganese......................................      3 to 8
Silica..............................:.............     30 to 40
Ztnc.............................................   0.8
Water...........................................    30
In the dry state this means Fe, 36 per cent.; silica, 43 to 57 per cent.; Zn, 1.1 per cent. These figures were given me on the spot by the manager of one of the blast-furnace plants, and they agree with results recorded by Bremme, Stahl and Bisen, Yol. XVI, p. 755.